n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Fighting the 'resource wars' in the Democratic Republic of the Congo : an exploratory diagnosis of the legal and institutional problems

Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



For the past two decades, the quest by state and non-state actors to profit from war through illegal natural resource exploitation has raised economic and financial agendas to prominence in the waging of war on the African continent. The desire by conflict actors and private domestic, regional, and international networks to access, exploit, and control natural resource exploitation patterns in conflict areas, has mainly targeted extractive mineral resources in high demand on the global market. This phenomenon has consequently redefined and reshaped the nature of armed conflict in Africa to which most major conflicts - such as the DRC's war waged between 1998 and 2004, and the intermittent armed rebellions witnessed between 2004 and 2010 - bear testimony. As illustrated by the DRC's wars, characterised by illegal natural resource exploitation, African wars have over the years followed different patterns and witnessed the involvement of an increasing number of different actors.

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